Photo: Ververidis Vasilis/Shutterstock

Cirque Du Soleil Is Bringing Two New Shows to Cruise Ships, and They Look Insane

Travel News Entertainment Cruises
by Matthew Meltzer Dec 21, 2018

There are some things in life that just sound fancy. Too fancy for you, probably. Stuff like cruises around the Mediterranean. And front-row seats to Cirque du Soleil. Pipe dreams. Unrealistic expectations. Stuff you’ll only do if you hit the Powerball or somehow wind up on Wheel of Fortune.

Or maybe you can do BOTH this spring, for under $1,000.

There’s a meme in your head right now of a surprised looking old lady saying “WHAAAAAAAAAAA?????” Admit it.

But it’s unbelievably true as the Euro-chic cruise masters, MSC Cruises, just announced two brand new Cirque du Soleil shows coming to the MSC Bellissima this spring. The cruise line who first brought the high-flying, death-defying, absurdly-expensive-ticket-selling acrobats to the high seas in 2017 is doing it again, bringing SYMA: Sail Beyond Imagination and VARÉLIA: Love in Full Colour, to Mediterranean cruises beginning in March.

“We are thrilled to embark on our second MSC Cruises ship as we pursue Cirque du Soleil’s journey at sea. We could not have wished for a better partnership,” said Cirque’s chief executive producer Yasmine Khalil via a press release.

The ship, like its Cirque-bearing predecessor, the MSC Meraviglia, will produce the shows in the custom-designed Carousel Lounge, a 400-seat, 20-million-euro venue with a 360-degree rotating stage and a 120-foot LED screen. The venue allows passengers to see performers from all angles, providing the kind of close-up access you’d literally pay hundreds of dollars to see on land.

Of course, technically you couldn’t see either of these shows on land, as they’re both produced exclusively for the ships. Though the plots in Cirque shows are about as straightforward as a London street grid, the general ideas are pretty simple.

SYMA: Sail Beyond Imagination follows a young sailor as he “braves the elements, plunges into troubled waters, and discovers the mysterious island of his dreams, populated by surreal, colorful creatures.” Sounds a little like a spring break cruise to Key West, but we’re game.

VARÉLIA: Love in Full Colour, is a love story of a princess with violet skin who is courted by a young blind man. An evil villain kidnaps the princess, so the young man goes on a quest to get her back with the help of his friends. You may recognize this plotline from every single video game released in the late-1980s.

They’re the third and fourth in a series of eight exclusive Cirque du Soleil shows coming to MSC’s Meraviglia-class ships between 2017 and 2020.

The shows will play twice daily, six nights a week. So if the sights of Lisbon, Barcelona, and Marseille wear thin after a while, you can spend your whole vacation in the air-conditioned comfort of the Carousel Lounge.

The MSC Bellissima sets sail the first week of March, with three-to-10-day itineraries from Southampton, England through the Mediterranean all summer. Interior cabins on the short cruises start at $449, and the 10-night cruises are $949. And everyone’s invited to the show.

So the luxury you read about isn’t as unattainable as you think. If you can somehow get yourself to England, then you can get up close and personal with Cirque du Soleil while spending your days exploring the glamorous summer locales of the Mediterranean. Yes, it’s on a cruise ship, and not your own personal yacht. But at least that leaves something for your scratch-ticket fantasies.

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